07 April 2017
When it comes to getting our kids to do homework and study, it’s not always an easy task. We have spent significant airtime sharing various study tips with you via our connection to a ‘study skills handbook’ and referring you to the link we have to a Study Skills website. It continues to be something I wish to encourage our students to be successful at, and endeavour to grow themselves in the challenges of preparing for assessments, class tasks and exams. Here are some really great suggestions as parents that we can pursue.
1. Get Organised. With homework, tests and extracurricular activities, a planner can help your child keep everything organised and written down. Review it together at the beginning and end of the day.
2. Know the Expectations. Be sure your child knows how and what they will be graded on. If expectations aren’t clear, encourage your child to seek clarification from their teacher – or if they can’t do that, don’t be afraid to ask yourself!
3. Designate a Study Area. Provide a quiet, well-lit, low-traffic space for study time. Take it one step further and institute a ‘communications blackout’ policy with no cell phones or instant messaging allowed until schoolwork is done. Turn the TV set off too!
4. Think Positively. Encourage your child to think positively when studying or heading into an exam and by all means, avoid catastrophic thinking.
5. Practice Active Listening. Encourage your child to try concentrating on the main points being made in class, think about what the speaker is saying and pay attention to how things are said (gestures, tone of voice, etc.). They should avoid talking or thinking about problems when listening.
6. Read Actively. It’s all too easy for students to skim over an assigned book chapter and not know the main points of what they just read. Consider helping your child develop: taking notes as a chapter is read; learning to skim material, learning to study tables and charts; learning to summarise what has been read in his/her own words; and learning to make flashcards for quick review of dates, formulas, spelling words, key terms/concepts.
7. Allow for regular time. Create a certain time each night where school work is being done. The regularity and consistency of this really helps establish those study patterns.
8. Watch for signs of frustration during homework sessions. No learning can take place if a child is angry or upset over an assignment that is too long or too difficult. You might have to step in and simply halt the homework for that night, offering to write a note to the teacher explaining the situation – you may even like to suggest talking together with the teacher to sort things out.
9. Help with homework. If it is productive to do so, calmly and cheerfully help with work, but not if it is a task your child must do on his/her own or learn themselves from the process.
Everything we’re aiming to do is about bringing the best out in your child(ren)! Thanks for a great term of support!
Head of Secondary